Salvia azurea. It's the best blue in my fall garden and each time it blooms I wish I had more.
Pitcher sage is not only beautiful, it's a favorite of bees. The bumbles are the primary pollinator of this salvia and fit nicely into the lipped flowers. The Carpenter bee, although another frequent visitor, is not a pollinator. It cannot fit into the flower, instead it slits open the corolla and robs the nectar while avoiding contact with the pollen. Occasionally, butterflies visit, but, I've not captured any photos this year...It's a sweet flower that's native to North Carolina south to Florida; west to Texas; north to Nebraska and Minnesota. It's happy in full sun or partial sun as long as it gets good drainage.
|the red stems and the rough leaves are attractive, too.|
|Ex-asters, Goldenrod and Tall Coreopsis|
|found in every state but a few western ones and LA, TX and Fl|
|narrow elongated foliage and self supporting stems are a plus|
If I had the energy I had 10 years ago I would take out most of the R fulgidas and plant this species. The stems are taller and the flower is in my opinion prettier. But, that's probably because the Susans are looking pretty seedy right now!
The Goldenrods are also star material for the Fall Equinox post. I like to plant New England aster with goldenrod. A dynamic duo. A perfect marriage of good looks and functionality. They provide color and nectar at a time of year when both can be in short supply.
|ambush bug just waiting for dinner to drop by|
I couldn't choose one, I love all my fall stars!
Give me this time of year with the intense yellow of goldenrod, the brilliant pink and purple of the New York asters and the lilac-blues of Hardy Blue Mistflower against the Autumn blue sky. These early fall blooms with their intense, rich colors are a treat for the senses.
But, they are so much more than pretty faces. Each one of these darlings provides more pollen and nectar return on investment than many other flowers combined. All of these native wildflowers are landing pads of deliciousness for butterflies, bees, wasps and moths. They're magnets for all kinds of insects; including some that are themselves food for spiders, birds and other insect eating critters.
My love affair with native plants has been going on for so long that now they are more beautiful to me than many classic garden flowers. I love rough and tumble, take care of themselves wildflowers. I love their good wildlife value. I love that they are absolutely perfect for Clay and Limestone!
Happy Wildflower Wednesday my friends.
Welcome to Clay and Limestone's Wildflower Wednesday celebration. WW is about sharing and celebrating wildflowers from all over this great big, beautiful world. Join us on the fourth Wednesday of each month. Remember, it doesn't matter if they are in bloom or not; and, it doesn't matter if we all share the same plants. It's all about celebrating wildflowers. Please leave a comment when you add your url to Mr Linky.
Gail Eichelberger is a gardener and therapist in Middle Tennessee. She loves wildflowers and native plants and thoroughly enjoys writing about the ones she grows at Clay and Limestone. She reminds all that the words and images are the property of the author and cannot be used without written permission.